Sunday at the Bookstore

Josie Leavitt - September 12, 2011

Okay, yesterday was decidedly not a regular Sunday, as renowned fantasy writer Terry Brooks was visiting. I worked in the store, while Elizabeth and PJ ran the event in our upstairs loft space.
The day began by checking the email to see if we had more RSVPs and questions about the event. We did. Elizabeth dealt with those while I ran an errand. Terry Brooks’ publicist said that we had to have a microphone, so I went to my friend’s to pick it up. Sadly, a miscommunication resulted in only a microphone being left for me, no cord or stand to go with my amp. It was 11:15 a.m. and Terry was coming at 1 p.m, and the store opens at noon. Okay, time to scramble. Enter Elizabeth, who sped to Radio Shack and got a really decent mic, stand and cord. All that scrambling resulted in Terry not needing the mic anyway, but at least now we have one.
I noticed that Terry Brooks’s fans are as varied as they are dedicated. One couple drove seven hours – one way! – to meet him. I was pretty awed by that. His fans spanned from teenagers to seniors. Several fans actually had rolling suitcases filled with books. I can’t speak more about the event, except to say that I heard laughter in store from the event and many misty-eyed fans came into the store afterwards to say how much they enjoyed the event.
So, while the event was going on I had my hands full with a bustling store. Yesterday seemed to be a great kid day. I found myself listening to a 12-year-old explain to her mom why she had to have The Sono Baking Company Cookbook: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Occasion, that’s been out since March. “I’ve been in love with this book my whole life.” Her mom smiled affectionately and the girl, sensing she might just get that book said, “It’s about SWEETS!” They got the book.
Later I found myself embroiled in a heated debate with two 10-year-0ld girls about the relative merits of mermaids. For people who know me, mermaids are not really my thing, but I can see why they’re cool. The mermaid, because she can be in both water and land, is, of course, awesome, it’s obvious.The friend said the fins freaked her out and a mom chimed in that mermaids weren’t always nice.
And then the phone rang. A gentleman with a very heavy Australian accent was calling to find out about the Terry Brooks event. I told him it was almost over, but if he hurried he could still meet Terry. The man chuckled and said,”I’m calling from Melbourne. I wanted to speak to Terry Brooks.” Okay, that’s never happened before. I asked if he knew Terry and he said he didn’t. A kind customer brought the phone upstairs and gave it to Elizabeth who let Terry decide. Apparently, he took the call after clearing it with the folks waiting in the signing line. I know we were Terry’s only Vermont appearance, but to get a call from Australia was awfully exciting.
Lastly, towards the end of the day, one of my favorite older customers came in and told me her wallet, with her Social Security card,  got stolen earlier in the week. We discussed why you don’t leave your Social Security card in  your wallet. I then spent the next 20 minutes working with the three credit bureaus to freeze her credit so someone couldn’t steal her identity.
All in all, an excellent day.

2 thoughts on “Sunday at the Bookstore

  1. Amanda

    The call from Australia cracks me up! What a lovely way to see that your local store has such a global impact. Sounds like you had a great event.

  2. Martha

    And how incredibly generous of you to spend your time in the store helping your customer with her stolen wallet issues. Where else can you get that kind of service these days?


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